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Science reporters say new increase in Covid-19 is a “collective problem”

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People in major cities waited in long lines for Covid rehearsals over the weekend … but millions also lined up to see “Spider-Man” in crowded cinemas.

On Sunday, New York State broke its largest single-day case for the third day in a row … but the governor underlined that “this is not March 2020.”

Saturday’s “SNL” was basically scrapped … but the streets outside 30 Rock were inflated with tourists visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

Ten Broadway productions canceled performances due to the positive results of Covid … but about 20 more shows were made.
I’m sure you’re also noticing some of these contrasts. Paul Farhi, Washington Post reporter he tweeted on Sunday: “Watch terrible omicron TV news … followed by cruise ads.”

Covid confusion is the issue at the moment. Where is the evidence? How often should you take the test if you have access to the tests? What to do if you test positive, even if you have no symptoms? What protocols should be applied to vaccinated and empowered adults compared to those who are not vaccinated by choice? Does anyone answer these questions?

It’s time to dump her and move on

Specifically, a shift to focus on severity rather than case numbers. More and more vaccinated and empowered adults are approaching the idea everyone will eventually be infected by Covid. Vaccines usually reduce a powerful beast to a minor nuisance. So will U.S. officials help change the way we think about this?
Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond of CNN report that “some of Biden’s advisers are encouraging the administration to start discussing publicly how to live next to a virus that shows no signs of disappearing.” However, “moving the public’s attention away from the total number of infections and only to serious cases, as some Biden advisers have encouraged, could be a challenge after nearly two years of intense pandemic focus on up and down “.
That’s the point I tried to make on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources”: Throughout the year we hear the words “live with Covid.” The keyword in this phrase is not Covid. The key word is to live!

Recommended reading

– Jake Tapper is open to the “state of the union” on Sunday: “The state of our union is … hoping to have Covid.”

– Ashish K. Jha: “The next wave of the pandemic requires tracing a middle ground between dismay and dismissal …” (The Atlantic)
– The chart of the day was courtesy of Scott Gottlieb, who said that “fortunately we are seeing a surprising decoupling between the new Covid cases and the admissions and deaths in the ICU” in South Africa … (Twitter)
– Nate Silver: “I don’t know how much it will be extrapolated to the rest of the world, but the data for South Africa is certainly encouraging. I think it’s important for public health officials and journalists to share good news and bad news; otherwise, they risk losing credibility … “(Twitter)
And / or: WaPo on Monday he says Leading U.S. health officials have warned that the country will “probably see a record number” of cases and hospitalizations as the new variant “spreads rapidly …” (WaPo)

How the media reacts to the increase

Here are some examples:

– CNN has returned to 2020 office protocols, saying non-essential employees to work from home, in part to “protect those who will be in the office by minimizing the number of people who are there.” A priority for all owners of the TV channel, of course, is to make sure that the network stays on the air, even if many employees give positive …

– The Washington Post reinstated a masked warrant in its offices on Saturday and told staff: “Whenever possible during the holiday season, it would be advisable to hold meetings using Zoom …”.

– MediaDC, the editor of the Conservative Washington Examiner, asked employees over the weekend to work from home until the new year after an employee who attended the company’s recent holiday party left give positive for Covid …

Three risk rings

Journalists, almost all vaccinated, are writing and reporting on Covid to different audiences simultaneously. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic he explained to me perceives three rings of risk: healthy adults who are depressed and stimulated are in the least vulnerable “ring”; immunocompromised and elderly individuals are in the middle; and the unvaccinated are the most vulnerable. “I think it’s important that the media address them individually,” he added dit, “and tell us when we are writing for ring one and when we are writing for ring three”.
>> Related: One of my colleagues, science writer Katherine Wu, said yes “deeply, deeply concerned” by the current rise. “This is a collective issue,” he said, adding that “decisions made by people, regardless of vaccination status, will affect those around them. … “.

>> During the same segment, David Leonhardt said he doesn’t think the current Omicron news cycle is an exaggerated reaction. “For most people driven,” he said, “the risks are still quite low,” but the number of cases is rising rapidly and “there is a good chance that we will have hospitals overflowing …”.

Some unvaccinated adults are still persuasive

Gregory Zuckerman, author of “A shot to save the world: The Inside Story of the Life-or-Death Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine, ”has been giving speeches related to his book.

“Some audiences have been hesitant about vaccines,” he told me. “I find that when the real / complete story of how vaccines were developed is told, and I explain that they were the result of years of brave / revolutionary work and that nothing was rushed, many are calm and more ready to roll up their sleeves “. In other words, some unvaccinated adults are still persuasive. “It’s my opinion,” said Zuckerman, “that governments around the world can / should do a better job of explaining the evolution of these vaccines to include people who are hesitant about vaccines, which is really crucial for stop this pandemic. “

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